In 1974, Mount Mercy’s criminal justice program was the first four-year program of its kind in Iowa. In later years, the program expanded to include emphases in corrections, community corrections, victims and women’s issues, legal and ethical issues in law enforcement and, more recently, courses that focus on research methodology.
Early on, nearly all of Mount Mercy’s criminal justice students were already in the workplace, serving various police departments or correctional facilities. Students who work while earning their bachelor’s degree continue to be a large segment of the program’s population, but as the criminal justice discipline has gained in reputation and popularity, more traditional-age students have chosen to pursue the field. As a result, criminal justice has jumped to the fourth most popular major at Mount Mercy.
Mount Mercy’s curriculum remains focused on teaching students to understand the fundamental tenets of criminal justice: the power that comes with responsibility, respect for the law and people, and the use of power for good.
“A student graduating with a criminal justice degree from Mount Mercy will not only be well prepared for the field of criminal justice, but will be a better and stronger individual because of it. The program allowed me to develop not only confidence in myself, but also the knowledge and training needed to allow me to be a successful and reputable member in the field of criminal justice.”
– Jill Rahe ’03, Deputy Sheriff
Delaware County Sheriff’s Department